Emergency Alert for Elderly People: Mobile Phone vs. Personal Alarm Emergency Alert for Elderly People: Mobile Phone vs. Personal Alarm
Card image cap

Emergency Alert for Elderly People: Mobile Phone vs. Personal Alarm

Ensuring the safety and well-being of an elderly loved one is a crucial, nagging concern for many of us in the UK. Statistics reveal a higher susceptibility to accidents and health emergencies among the elderly, emphasising the necessity for efficient emergency alert systems. Whether it's a slip in the bathroom, a fall in the garden, or a sudden health deterioration, the ability to swiftly summon assistance can be a matter of life and death.

In this blog, we’ll be looking at two of the more popular options available today - mobile phones with SOS support and dedicated personal alarms. We’ll examine how the options differ, the pros and cons of each, and, ultimately, which of the two is best suited to your needs. As we compare mobile phones with SOS support and personal alarms we aim to unravel all of the complexities, giving you the information you need to make an informed choice.

Mobile Phones with SOS support:

Mobile phones have become an integral part of our daily lives, providing a sense of connectivity and convenience. In this section, we dissect the pros and cons of relying on mobile phones as a primary means of seeking help during emergencies. From the comfort of familiarity to the potential complexities in high-stress situations, we evaluate how well mobile phones meet the unique needs of the elderly in the UK.


  • Familiarity Breeds Comfort: One of the significant advantages of using a mobile phone as an emergency alert device for the elderly is the familiarity it offers. Many elderly individuals are already accustomed to using mobile phones for communication and staying connected with their social circles. Leveraging a device they are familiar with can reduce the learning curve associated with adapting to new technology, ensuring a more seamless and efficient response during emergencies. This sense of comfort can be particularly crucial in high-stress situations, where the elderly may find reassurance in using a device they have used for various purposes over the years.

  • Integrated Location Tracking: Mobile phones often come equipped with built-in GPS technology, enabling precise location tracking. This feature can be invaluable during emergencies, allowing emergency services or concerned family members to quickly determine the exact whereabouts of the elderly individual in distress. The ability to pinpoint the location can significantly expedite the response time of emergency services, ensuring that help reaches the individual as swiftly as possible. Integrated location tracking adds an extra layer of security, providing both the elderly and their loved ones with a sense of confidence in the event of an emergency.


  • Complexity in Operation: While familiarity is a strength, the multifunctional nature of mobile phones can be a double-edged sword, especially during emergencies. Navigating through various functions and apps to make a call for help might prove challenging for elderly individuals, particularly those who are not tech-savvy. In stressful situations, the complexity of the device might lead to delays or difficulties in initiating the emergency alert, potentially compromising the timely assistance that is crucial during emergencies.

  • Dependency on Battery Life: The dependency on battery life is a notable drawback of using mobile phones for emergency alerts. Mobile phones require regular charging, and during an emergency, a dead battery could render the device useless. Unlike dedicated emergency devices with extended battery life, mobile phone batteries are drained by a selection of applications and other usage. This means that the device may not be reliable at times of emergency, especially if the elderly forgets to charge the device regularly. This vulnerability raises concerns about the dependability of mobile phones as a sole emergency alert solution, particularly during extended periods without access to charging.

  • The Emotional Toll on Family and Loved Ones Typically, the SOS button on a mobile phone connects to a specific contact or contacts, relying heavily on the availability of these individuals. Unfortunately, this reliance can impose a significant emotional toll, with the constant stress about their loved one's wellbeing leading to heightened anxiety, adversely affecting their overall well-being.

    In moments of crisis, family members may find themselves in a constant state of anxiety, dreading an emergency call at any moment. This emotional strain can impact their daily lives, making it challenging to maintain a sense of calm. As the primary point of contact, family members may experience a continuous sense of responsibility that can take a toll on their mental health.

  • Unavailability of primary contacts: As much as they would like to do so, family members may not always be available to answer an emergency call. Life's unpredictability introduces various factors that can hinder their ability to respond promptly. Work, holidays, social gatherings or being in areas with poor network reception are all potential obstacles.

    In practical terms, this means that an emergency call may go unanswered, leading to delays in assistance for the elderly individual in distress. The uncertainties surrounding family members' availability introduce an element of unpredictability, making it challenging to rely on this support system in critical situations.

  • Lack of Emergency Training: Family members, motivated by care and concern, may lack the necessary training to handle emergencies effectively. Emergency situations require specific skills and a calm, rational approach that may not come naturally without proper training.

    Without the appropriate training, family members may struggle to assess the severity of a situation, provide essential first aid, or make critical decisions needed for the best outcome. This lack of preparedness can contribute to delays in responding to emergencies, potentially exacerbating the situation and making it harder for professionals to intervene effectively.

Personal Alarms for the Elderly:

Designed with a singular focus on emergency situations, personal alarms are tailored to the specific needs of the elderly. In this section, we delve into the strengths and weaknesses of personal alarms, exploring how the streamlined functionality addresses accessibility concerns and enhances ease of use.


  • Dedicated Functionality for Emergencies: One of the primary strengths of personal alarms is the dedicated functionality for emergencies. These devices are purpose-built to serve as efficient and straightforward tools for seeking help. Featuring a simple interface, personal alarms eliminate unnecessary complexities, ensuring that even those with limited technical proficiency can use them effectively. The streamlined design prioritises ease of use during high-stress situations, making personal alarms an ideal choice for elderly individuals seeking a straightforward and reliable emergency alert solution.

  • Professional Expertise and Immediate Response: Unlike mobile phones, personal alarms typically connect to a dedicated monitoring centre when an alert is made. These monitoring centres are staffed 24/7 by individuals specifically trained to handle various emergency situations, ensuring a swift and informed response. Unlike relying on family members, these professionals have the necessary skills to assess the severity of a situation, provide guidance, and coordinate emergency services effectively.

    In the event of an alert from a personal alarm, these dedicated monitoring professionals can act swiftly, following established protocols and procedures. Their training enables them to remain calm under pressure, make informed decisions, and communicate effectively with both the elderly individual in distress and the relevant emergency services. This level of professional expertise significantly enhances the overall effectiveness of the emergency response system, offering a reliable safety net for the elderly.


  • Limited Functionality Beyond Emergencies: While personal alarms excel in their primary function - providing a quick and efficient means of seeking help during emergencies - they may lack the broader functionality of mobile phones. Personal alarms typically do not offer features such as internet access, communication beyond emergency situations, or the ability to use diverse applications. For elderly individuals who value the convenience of having multiple functions in a single device, the limited scope of personal alarms may be a drawback.
  • Carrying an Additional Device: A potential inconvenience associated with personal alarms is the need to carry an additional device. While this is a dedicated and purpose-built solution, some elderly individuals may perceive the requirement of carrying a separate device as cumbersome. Those who prefer the simplicity of having a single, multipurpose tool may find the idea of carrying an additional device less appealing. The challenge lies in striking a balance between the convenience of an all-in-one device and the specialised functionality offered by personal alarms.

Personal alarm vs mobile phone

YourStride Alarm Watch: Bridging the Gap

While mobile phones may present challenges in terms of complexity during emergencies, and personal alarms might be perceived as limited in functionality, the YourStride Alarm Watch steps in as the bridge that transforms these limitations into strengths. It acknowledges the need for a user-friendly, always-available device that goes beyond traditional expectations, offering a sense of security that is unparalleled.

YourStride successfully bridges the gap between mobile phones and personal alarms, and in doing so, offers a holistic solution that introduces transformative features, redefining communication and support during emergencies. We list some of these features below:

  • Automatic Fall Detection: YourStride is equipped with automatic fall detection technology. In the event of a fall, the watch can initiate an emergency alert without the need for manual activation. This feature is especially crucial for situations where the user may be unable to press their watch’s SOS button.

  • 24/7 Coverage Anywhere in the UK: YourStride provides true security by offering 24/7 coverage across the entire UK. Whether you're at home, tending to your garden, or simply enjoying a day out, YourStride ensures that help is just a button press away.

  • Direct Communication with Monitoring Team: When emergency assistance is required, users can press the SOS button on the watch to communicate directly with the dedicated 24/7 monitoring team via a two-way call directly through the watch. This immediate connection allows for quick assessment of the situation and prompt dispatch of the necessary help to the user's location.

  • Convenient Wearable Design: One of the key advantages of the YourStride is its wearable design. Unlike traditional personal alarms that might be attached to clothing or carried separately, YourStride functions as a wristwatch. This eliminates the concern of carrying an additional device, ensuring that emergency assistance is always within arm's reach. Furthermore, in incorporating SOS features in a sleek wrist watch, YourStride avoids the stigma associated with traditional personal alarms.

  • GPS Functionality: YourStride features GPS technology, similar to that of a mobile phone. This means that in an emergency, not only can the monitoring team assess the situation, but they can also pinpoint the user's exact location. This is a crucial feature, especially in situations where the individual may not be able to provide their location verbally.

  • More than just a Personal Alarm: YourStride goes above and beyond being a conventional personal alarm. It integrates health monitoring features such as a step counter, blood pressure monitor, and heart rate monitor. This multifaceted functionality allows users to monitor vital health metrics seamlessly.

For those who seek the best of both worlds - the comfort of familiarity with the efficiency of dedicated emergency features - the YourStride Alarm Watch stands out as a great option. It not only meets the unique needs of the elderly but also redefines the standards for comprehensive safety in an increasingly interconnected world. Click here to order yours today.

If you're looking for more information on the YourStride alarm, you'll find all the information you need on our personal alarm and fall alarm pages.